WASHINGTON — The postseason is why baseball groups do what they do. And the Nationals are constructed for the postseason.
However at an important time of yr, the NL East champs have considerations about arguably their greatest pitcher, Max Scherzer, and greatest hitter, Bryce Harper. It’s sufficient to drive a supervisor nuts.
“I used to be all the time taught: You determine the issue. Doesn’t do any good to kick a pet and I attempted placing my hand by means of the wall, and it didn’t do nothing however harm me,” Washington supervisor Dusty Baker stated Thursday on the eve of opening the NLDS towards the Cubs at Nationals Park.
“I’m a person of options. You determine the issue and you then attempt to discover a answer.”
The answer to Scherzer and his ailing hamstring is Stephen Strasburg (15-four, 2.fifty two ERA), who faces Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks (7-5, three.03 ERA) in Friday’s Recreation 1. The Nationals hoped Scherzer would check the hamstring Wednesday or Thursday throwing off a mound. As an alternative, he performed catch within the outfield. Gio Gonzalez is the possible Recreation 2 starter, with Scherzer in Recreation three.
“We understand if [Scherzer] pitched Recreation 2, he might in all probability pitch Recreation 5 if vital,” Baker stated. “We understand that, however is that value taking an opportunity?”
Strasburg, who missed final yr’s postseason with an elbow ailment, compiled an outstanding zero.86 ERA with seventy six strikeouts in sixty two ²/₃ innings over his previous 10 begins. The Nationals are favored, however the Cubs, relishing underdog standing, see one apparent advantage of Scherzer’s delayed begin.
“If he’s not going to have the ability to go in Recreation 2, he’s not going to have the ability to in all probability pitch in Recreation 5,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo stated. “So that you’ve obtained among the best pitchers of our era not going two video games.”
However it’s not like he’s being changed by a member of Detroit’s bullpen.
“Stras’ has in all probability thrown the ball higher than anyone the second half,” Nationals catcher Matt Wieters stated.
“I had an concept of what was going to occur a pair days in the past,” stated Strasburg, who began and misplaced Recreation 1 of the 2014 NLDS. “I’m excited to pitch within the playoffs once more. It’s one factor you actually can’t take as a right. … It’s humorous, as a result of this isn’t strain. This can be a recreation. There’s lots of people that cope with so much harsher issues in life that’s reliable strain.”
Then there’s the matter of Harper, who returned for 5 video games (three-of-18, seven strikeouts) after lacking forty one with a hyperextension and bruise…